Temporal Patterns in Chlamydia Repeat Testing in Massachusetts

Am J Prev Med. 2019 Mar;56(3):458-463. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.10.006.


Introduction: National guidelines recommend test-of-cure for pregnant women and test-of-reinfection for all patients with chlamydia infections in order to interrupt transmission and prevent adverse sequelae for patients, partners, and newborns. Little is known about retesting and positivity rates, and whether they are changing over time, particularly in private sector practices.

Methods: Electronic health record data on patients with chlamydia tests were extracted from three independent clinical practice groups serving ≅20% of the Massachusetts population. Records were extracted using the Electronic medical record Support for Public Health platform (esphealth.org). These data were analyzed for temporal trends in annual repeat testing rates by using generalized estimating equations after index positive chlamydia tests between 2010 and 2015 and for differences in intervals to first repeat tests among pregnant females, non-pregnant females, and males. Data extraction and analysis were performed during calendar years 2017 and 2018.

Results: An index positive C. trachomatis result was identified for 972 pregnant female cases, 10,309 non-pregnant female cases, and 4,973 male cases. Test-of-cure 3-5 weeks after an index positive test occurred in 37% of pregnant females. Test-of-reinfection 8-16 weeks after an index positive test occurred in 39% of pregnant females, 18% of non-pregnant females, and 9% of males. There were no significant increases in test-of-cure or test-of-reinfection rates from 2010 to 2015. Among cases with repeat tests, 16% of pregnant females, 15% of non-pregnant females, and 16% of males had positive results.

Conclusions: Chlamydia test-of-cure and test-of-reinfection rates are low, with no evidence of improvement over time. There are substantial opportunities to improve adherence to chlamydia repeat testing recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Partners
  • Time Factors